Knowing just how long alcohol stays in the body, is extremely important for those who like a drink. This is because when alcohol is in the system, it impairs our mental judgement, and decreases reaction time, thereby making our driving unsafe, and putting everyone in the vehicle and those nearby, at greater risk of having an accident and fatal injury. If you are an employee, or if driving is a part of your job, then understanding the facts on alcohol use is vital. - As are regular impromptu on-site alcohol tests in the workplace. - Something which can help with injury prevention, save lives, and protect the name of the company.
Drug Testing Kits UK supply countless industries, companies, organisations, institutes, and medical facilities, with the latest highly accurate, fully approved, state-of-the-art, alcohol testing kits. So if you are in the UK or Southern Ireland, you are invited to contact our friendly Drug Testing Kits UK Customer Service Team, to find out about the benefits that we can offer you to help monitor your staff and company reputation.
What is the Drink Driving Limit in the UK?
According to the Metropolitan Police:
"The legal alcohol limit in England, Wales & Northern Ireland for driving, is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood or 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. In Scotland, the limit is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood or 22 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath" 
How Many Units Can a Person Drink Before Driving a Car?
The Strict Drink Drive Limits in the UK
When it comes to UK drink drive limit units, did you know that these are different according to which part of the United Kingdom you are driving in?
So What Are the Limits Based On?
The legal limit is calculated according to the alcohol levels that are detected in a person's breath, urine, or blood. Working out the number of alcoholic units that will put you over the legal limit, is very difficult, as there is no one size fits all. - We are all individual when it comes to our age, gender, weight, and metabolism (the rate our body utilises energy). - Not to mention the type of alcohol we drink, and how much of it we have; whether we have something to eat within a short time before consuming the alcohol; and whether we are stressed.
Drink Drive Alcohol Limit in England, Wales & Northern Ireland
In these three regions, the drink driving limit is:
- 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood (the ‘blood limit’)
- 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath (the ‘breath limit’)
- 107 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine (the ‘urine limit’)
Drink Drive Alcohol Limit in Scotland
In this region, the drink drive limit is:
- 50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood (the ‘blood limit’)
- 22 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath (the ‘breath limit’)
- 67 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine (the ‘urine limit’) .
How Long Does Alcohol Stay in the Body?
Our liver is the main organ that is responsible for breaking down the alcohol we consume. In the case of men, the average adult can metabolise one standard drink every hour. However, there are a number of different factors which impact how quickly our bodies can process the alcohol. These include: sex, weight, age, and how much food has been consumed. Of note, it is important to be mindful of the fact that drinking water, or trying to sleep it off, cannot rev up the rate at which the body absorbs alcohol.
Alcohol Detection Times
These detection times can vary inline with the type of alcohol test which is being administered, and how an individual's body system is functioning.
- In the majority of cases, alcohol can remain in the body between 6 to 72 hours
- Alcohol tests (such as the high quality ones provided by Drug Testing Kits UK), can detect blood alcohol levels, and whether the bac uk limit has been exceeded, for as long as 6 hours after consumption
- Breathalysers (such as the top quality ones provided by Drug Testing Kits UK), can detect alcohol on the breath for up to 24 hours. Although the breathalyser limits, and standard time for breath specimens being 12 to 24 hours
- Saliva tests (such as the innovative ones provided by Drug Testing Kits UK), can detect alcohol in the saliva for up to 24 hours. Although the standard tome is 12 to 24 hours
- Urine tests (such as the latest state-of-the art ones provided by Drug Testing Kits UK), can detect alcohol in the urine for up to 72 hours. Although the standard tome is 12 to 24 hours
- Of note, the half life of alcohol is 4 to 5 hours .
When Did Drunk Driving Become Prohibited in the UK?
In 1962, the Road Traffic Act (also known as The Marples Act), came into force. This meant that
it was an offence for anyone to: be in charge of a motor vehicle; attempt to drive a motor vehicle; or drive a motor vehicle; if their "ability to drive properly was for the time being impaired" . Of note, it took until 1967, for the legal drink driving limit to be established .
What’s the Punishment if a Person was Caught Drunk?
Drunk driving is a serious criminal offence, which can land you with a criminal record, and affect your job, and even make you redundant. Moreover, as an employee who drives as part of their job, if you are involved in dangerous driving, there is no reasonable excuse for your actions, and your work contract could be terminated. To that end, professional drivers and commercial drivers who witness careless driving by others who may be under the influence of alcohol, should serve as a warning. - Therefore, when it comes to workdays, abstaining from alcohol, including having a drink with slight alcohol content, is the best policy.
Drivers who have been found to be over the drink-drive limit, can:
- Face a criminal record
- Receive an unlimited fine
- Be subject to an automatic driving ban that will last a minimum of 12 months
- Or as long as 3 years, if the diver has been subject to 2 previous convictions over the last 10 years
- A maximum penalty of six months imprisonment .
- A higher insurance premium (which will have to be paid by the employee or the company)
- If you drive for a living, your employer, or a potential future employer, will see your conviction on your licence
- Problems travelling to certain countries (such as America), due to your criminal record .
Can an Accused Go to Prison for Drunk Driving?
The answer to this is "Yes."
"If a driver kills someone while under the influence of alcohol, they can be charged with causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs (Section 3A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended by the Road Traffic Act 1991, section 3)).
The maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment if the offence was committed before 28 June 2022. If the offence was committed on or after 28 June 2022, the maximum penalty is life imprisonment" .
There is no doubt that both employers, and employees who drive, and do extended driving, as part of their job, need to be conversant with the current rules and regulations related to consuming alcohol and driving. Not only can driving under the influence of alcohol put everyone in the vehicle, and those nearby, at risk of a serious accident or fatality; if a driver is stopped by the roadside police and fails an alcohol breathalyser test (such as one of the latest highly accurate cutting-edge appliances provided by Drug testing Kits UK), then they could face a driving ban of up to 3 years, be handed an unlimited fine, be given a criminal record, and in some cases, face a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment. Moreover, the company that they work for, could also face unwelcome consequences.
. Metropolitan Police (2022). "Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs."
. Drinkawawe (2022). "Drink Driving and the Legal Alcohol Limit."
. American Addiction Centres (2022). "How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?"
. Drink Driving Org (2022). "A History of Drink Driving & Motoring Laws in the UK."